Billionaire wine collector William Koch is suing Christie’s for fraud.
The case was filed on 30 March 2010 in the U.S. District Court, in New York.
Koch, who is based in Florida, claims Christie’s has sold counterfeit wine for many years.
In the lawsuit, the billionaire alleges Christie’s is negligent in failing to ensure that bottles auctioned were genuine, and that it turns a blind eye to suspected wine fraud.
‘Because Christie’s has inspected so many wine cellars and has examined so many bottles of wine, it knows how to identify counterfeit wine’, Koch said.
‘Christie’s also has unique access to facts and circumstances that might call into question the authenticity of specific wines it handles’, he added.
Matthew Paton, a spokesperson for the auction house told decanter.com: ‘We take all appropriate steps to establish authenticity, and work with the leading experts, authorities and institutions in the relevant field to research the property that we sell.’
‘We believe the allegations in this complaint are without merit and intend to vigorously defend the case’.
Koch has previously sued Zachy’s, Acker, Merrall & Condit and German collector and dealer Hardy Rodenstock for fraud.
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Written by James Lawrence